[MUD-Dev] Game design and gender: An interesting article

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Wed Sep 22 22:01:49 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

Marian Griffith wrote:
> Yes, you must approach girls different from boys, but it doesn't have
> to be fluff to appeal to girls.  On the contrary I would say.  By the
> time they are thirteen, fourteen girls are much more mature than boys
> the same age.

(and then they stay 14 until they wake up at 30 or something :^)

I wonder if it is more important to focus on "imagine yourself inside this",
rather than "imagine yourself having access too (or being attached to) this
great tool" when marketing to women. I think the average female and male
buyer of say large 4WD cars have different motivations for their purchase.
Woman: "I feel safe inside this", "I have room for groceries", "I get a good
view of the traffic". Man: "I am a rough guy, and sporty", "It makes me
visible", "It is empowering, nothing can stop me".  Stereotypes, and not
actual quotes, but I think it is true that men more think of the car as an
extension of themselves, and women think of it as something they are inside

If women look for other qualities in a product, related to their view of
themselves, how can a MUD then change its presentation in order to
accommodate for those gender based needs?

Should one describe "how it feels" to be in the world?  Should one describe
how one will be perceived in the world (how you look, what you are going to
be)?  That is, should one focus on what kind of a "wrapping" the MUD is,
rather than what kind of tools it provides..?

> > Of course, you are now most likely going bananas because
> > I argue for using female players as bait.
> I am not sure I understand why you made this remark. :(

Reference to earlier objections about having women in MUDs in order to keep
men interested in the system. *grin*

> and explain the gaming more than talk about the options.  Things I
> was looking for and could not immediately find were answers to the
> questions like: what do I do here? and  what -is- this?

Yes, and problem shared by many MUDs I guess. And even when they provide
some description I usually get disappointed about the discrepancy between
what a MUD says it is and what it typically turns out to be (a hack'n'slash
point collecting nightmare).  Often they turn out to be about little else
than RPG mechanics and whatever the player base fancy. It doesn't help a
whole lot that say LegendMUD market itself as a MUD oriented towards
historical periods, when you are met with pure point-collecting behaviour
and point-collecting collaboration. The scenario becomes secondary to the
power gaining activity, because it has the most impact on your experience
and social interaction? Does this reduce the scenario to just a marketing
ploy? :^)

> The complaint about the difficulty to find what the game is seems
> to be a recurring theme to this little survey.

Yes, and I guess you could say that about Ultima Online (www.owo.com) as


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